Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Keep Cool Without Breaking the Bank

Here in the South - Summer's heat is far from over even as Fall seems to be right around the corner! If your monthly utility bills are higher than you like - but you can't stand the heat - we have some tips that might help!

Did you know? Heating and air conditioning make up 43% of your average monthly utility costs.

Here are some ways to cool down - without cranking the A/C.

  • Circulate air with fans - ceiling fans or box fans will work - nothing too fancy needed
  • Use screens on your windows to help block some of the sun's heat - inside make use of blinds and curtains
  • Make use of your exhaust fans after cooking and a hot shower
  • If your home has a programmable thermostat - set the temperature a little higher for those times when you won't be home
  • Change air filters regularly to keep your A/C unit running efficiently
  • Keep the area around your condenser clean - tall grass or bushes can clog the unit and cause it to run less efficiently
  • Make small changes like using CFL light bulbs instead of the typical incandescents - they emit less heat.

What do you do to keep cool and keep your costs low in the summer heat?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Understanding Homeowners Associations

When shopping for a new home, take into account whether the home falls under the jurisdiction of a Homeoweners Assocation or HOA. Choosing a neighborhood with an HOA is a matter of personal preference with many new homebuyers preferring one way or the other. To help make the subject a little more clear - here are a few Pros and Cons about a neighborhood HOA.


  • Home and Neighborhood Appearance: Many HOA's have guidelines that each homeowner must adhere to or risk receiving a fine. This includes yard and home maintenance items, home additions or landscaping changes and parking ordinances. These guidelines are considered a plus by those who prefer a uniform and orderly neighborhood appearance.
  • Maintenance: Depending on the HOA, some neighborhood maintenance may be included - especially of community common areas.
  • Dispute Management:  With a board of directors in place, an HOA can provide a means to neighborly dispute reconciliation when needed.

  • Property Restrictions:  Some homeowners resent the premise that changes to their home or property will need to be approved by an outside entity such as an HOA.
  • Fees: Most HOA's charge some type of monthly or yearly fee for services rendered and community maintenance.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Introducing the "She Shed"

An alternative to the “man cave” – the “she shed” is new trend heating up the housing industry.  The “she shed” is a backyard oasis for today’s busy woman.  “She sheds” are the perfect place for getting away and enjoying a new book, catching up on a hobby or chatting with a close friend over tea. Need some inspiration for your own “she shed”? Take a look!

What would you include in your "she shed"?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Shop Tax Free!

Take advantage of tax-free shopping this weekend on select back to school items, clothing,
technology and even some items for home!

Furnish your new home with blankets, bed spreads, sheets, towels, rugs and pillows - all without the typical 6% sales tax!

South Carolina's tax free weekend starts Friday, August 7th and goes through Sunday, August 9th.

A full list of tax-exempt items is available HERE

Happy Shopping!